36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 13 Education
Poster I, Tuesday, November 9, 2004, 4:00-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[13.01] Reaching the Public through Traveling Exhibitions

P. B. Dusenbery, J. B. Harold, C. A. Morrow (Space Science Institute)

The Space Science Institute (SSI) of Boulder, Colorado has recently developed two museum exhibits called Alien Earths and MarsQuest. It has just started to develop another exhibit called Giant Planets. These exhibitions provide research scientists the opportunity to engage in a number of activities that are vital to the success of these major outreach programs. Alien Earths was developed in partnership with various research missions. The focus of the presentation will be on MarsQuest and Giant Planets. MarsQuest is a 5000 square-foot, $3M, traveling exhibition that is now touring the country. The exhibit's second 3-year tour will enable millions of Americans to share in the excitement of the scientific exploration of Mars and learn more about their own planet in the process. The associated planetarium show and education program will also be described, with particular emphasis on workshops to orient museum staff (e.g. museum educators and docents) and workshops for master educators near host museums and science centers. The workshops make innovative connections between the exhibition's interactive experiences and lesson plans aligned with the National Science Education Standards. These exhibit programs are good models for actively involving scientists and their discoveries to help improve informal science education in the museum community and for forging a stronger connection between formal and informal education. The presentation will also discuss how Giant Planets, a proposed 3500 square-foot traveling exhibition on the mysteries and discoveries of the outer planets, will be able to take advantage of the connections and resources that have been developed by the MarsQuest project.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.